This article was first published in the Tararua Tramper in January/February 2002
Southern Hinterland Rover
16 September 2001
From the bus stop at Appleton Park, Karori, we climbed Birdwood Street steps and entered Birdwood Street Reserve. This is contiguous with Karori Sanctuary, and after 15 minutes in the kohekohe remnant we came to the Sanctuary fence. Inside it we could see bait stations and rodent-tracking tunnels used in the pest control programme. We got an idea of the difficulty of building the fence, when we climbed alongside it towards Wright Hill (358m) - it is indeed steep!
Near the southern end of the "Rollercoaster" track by the fence, we went onto a disused road and bushwhacked west a few metres to the boundary of Lot 1, Long Gully, a 52 ha property owned by Wellington Natural Heritage Trust. Barbara Mitcalfe, a trustee, and club member, described to us the acquisition of and plans for this important forest remnant in the valley of Silver Stream.
Beyond Hawkins Hill (495m) we descended Radome Track into the deeply - incised valley of Waipapa Stream. This is the largest stream in WCC’s 600ha Te Kopahou Reserve, and is noted for the sense of isolation from the city its valley gives walkers.
We lunched at Waipapa Forks, then climbed the steep Waipapa Loop Track to Red Rocks Track. From the spur above the south coast we had great views, particularly eastwards towards Turakirae Head, and across Cook Strait to Tupuaeoenuku (2885m), about 115km away.
Once down on the coast, some people went to Sinclair Head/Rimurapa to see NZ fur seals, while most of the rest lounged in the "Brass Monkey" over hot drinks, cakes and conservation.